You exercise your dog regularly, feed him healthy food, and give him his heartworm medicine on the first of every month. If you want to keep your dog as fit as possible, you need to remember another crucial element of his health: the mouth. Dental care for dogs is just as important as any other aspect of your dog’s well-being. This is how to do it right.
Why do dogs need dental care?
You might be surprised to hear that 80% of dogs show signs of this periodontal disease in dogs by the time they are three years old. It may not seem like an essential part of your dog’s health, but gum disease can have serious consequences, including tooth loss and damage to the heart and kidneys.
The first indicator that your pup may have the disease is: bad breath. The unpleasant odor is caused by bacteria that form plaque and gingivitis. If left untreated, plaque matures and worsens gum disease. As a result, more destructive bacteria lead to organ damage.
Other signs of oral diseases include:
- Yellow-brown tartar on the teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Inflamed gums
- Problems chewing/dropping food while eating
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in eating habits
- They rub their faces on the floor or claw at their mouths
The best dental hygiene hack your dog will love
Good habits from the start
Healthy dental care for your dog can begin as soon as your puppy gets her adult teeth (about six months old). Once those chompers have grown out, it’s time to teach your puppy how to keep his teeth and gums clean. If you introduce the habits when your puppy is young, he will become comfortable brushing his teeth.
You can start by gently rubbing your puppy’s gums with your finger. Purchase a finger brush to introduce your dog to the sensation. If you adopt a dog later in life, the finger brush is a gentle way to introduce your pup to dental hygiene. Use a dog-friendly toothpaste. Your pup will love the taste and the taste will make the experience more enjoyable. Once your puppy gets used to the finger brush, you can switch to a real toothbrush. Make circular movements and concentrate on removing plaque as best as possible. Watch this video for more tips to make this process as painless as possible.
Most veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth every day. Try to do this regularly to prevent plaque growth and gingivitis.
11 hacks for fresh breath for your fur baby
Don’t forget the vet
Brushing at home is a great way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy. But just like people, dogs also need dental cleaning. These must be administered by a veterinarian to achieve the full effect. A visit to the vet for a dental cleaning is comparable to a visit to the dentist. The doctor will thoroughly clean your dog’s teeth with a scaler and check the gums for recession. However, dogs should be given general anesthesia so that they remain still during cleaning. Do not be alarmed by this requirement. Current anesthesia is extremely safe and common. Your dog may also have x-rays or even teeth extractions if the doctor deems it necessary.
Prices vary, but you can expect to spend money a few hundred dollars for a cleaning. If your dog needs more extensive dental work, such as extractions, prices increase significantly. That’s another reason why it’s important to practice oral hygiene at home.
Get your pup excited about dental care
There are tools to make brushing teeth easier for you and your puppy. These are some of our favorite products.
Brite Bite Brushing Stick: This brushing stick takes the human element out of brushing your dog’s teeth. This is how it works: your dog bites the animal-safe rubber and brushes its own teeth. All you need to add is your dog’s favorite toothpaste and it can do the job. The stick gives your pup a sense of control over the experience. Bonus: This stick is especially good for cleaning your pup’s hard-to-reach back molars and is dishwasher safe.
Grain-Free Triple Enzyme Dental Sticks: These treats complement brushing your teeth. They are designed to control plaque, reduce tartar buildup, freshen breath and help maintain healthy teeth and gums. The sticks contain no artificial colors and are grain and gluten free.
Antimicrobial Dental Wipes to Control Tartar, Plaque, and Bad Breath: Instead of struggling with a toothbrush, try these wipes. The wipes contain a solution that helps reduce the build-up of plaque, tartar and tartar on your pup’s teeth over time. Another benefit: the formula reduces the bacteria that cause bad breath in dogs.
Your dog’s dental health is important. Bacteria start out small, but can grow into bigger health problems. So start now – before a problem arises. Brush your pup’s teeth regularly and provide him with toys that help him take charge of his own dental care. Regular vet visits and professional cleanings protect your dog from potentially harmful diseases.